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>I think a big factor in burnout is that most work is ultimately meaningless, or even morally wrong, and on a deep level, we're aware of that.

I don't this is true across the board, but the challenge is finding a "job" that you love and are excited to tackle every day. This will differ for most people, but the closer you can get to doing something that you would voluntarily want to do even if you weren't being paid for it the better mental space you will be in.

Personally, I'm still searching for that magic job but through trial-and-error I'm getting pretty good at identifying what I don't want to do.




> Personally, I'm still searching for that magic job but through trial-and-error I'm getting pretty good at identifying what I don't want to do.

Knowing what you DON'T want to do is sometimes more important and useful than knowing what you DO want to do!


I'm not so sure. I haven't found avoiding what you hate rather than pursuing what you love to be a good life strategy


> the challenge is finding a "job" that you love and are excited to tackle every day

This is great and very important, but it doesn't prevent burnout necessarily. I have a job and career that I really enjoy and consider to be very meaningful (aging research), but I have been severely burned out several times.

In some perverse ways, having a "meaningful" job can increase stress and propensity to burnout exactly because you know it's important. I imagine this is why doctors and lawyers have a lot of burnout, stress, and substance abuse problems. OTOH, you don't really hear about corporate accountants getting burned out.

My personal theory of burnout is that it happens when you start to feel you are on a treadmill -- running hard to achieve an important goal, but getting nowhere. Then the stress and burnout symptoms increasingly make this a self-fulfilling prophecy and feedback loop.


I've found there is no such magic job. That's why it's called a "job" and not a "hobby that pays", and that's why the call what you get "compensation". Your pay compensates you for the time you spend doing something you otherwise would never choose to do on your own! The key is to just accept this transaction on its face and not go and assign deep personal meaning to it or get your self-worth all wrapped up in it.


This is a very privileged point-of-view. Most folks are lucky to find a job they don't hate, that isn't grossly exploitative and uncomfortable.




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